Kitano leads ‘Banzai’ brigade

Film set for June release in Japan

After a two-year hiatus, Takeshi Kitano, helmer of the 1997 Venice Golden Lion winner “Hana-bi,” has revealed that he will make “Kantoku Banzai” (literally, “Director Hooray”).

Set for a June release in Japan with the helmer’s own Office Kitano distribbing, the pic will star Keiko Matsuzaka, Toru Emori, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Akira Takarada, Ann Suzuki, Yuki Uchida and Yoshika Kimura.

Though Kitano says the pic will be “non-violent,” he plans on making it a mish-mash of genres (ninja, samurai swashbuckler, love story, Ozu-esque homage), with the main one being comedy. Kitano, under his stage name Beat Takeshi, will star as a tormented director, though any resemblance to “8 1/2” may be accidental.

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